The Switch Successor

The Nintendo Switch launched in what seems only like yesterday. It actually launched on 3rd March 2017. So unless we have all been tricked by a government conspiracy and time is skipping around, it was scarily over six years ago.

It was rumoured earlier this year by someone that journalists call a trusted source, that once The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launches, Nintendo won’t be releasing any big games for the console. Now I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty big screw you to those that like Pikmin. But, it does definitely seem that the Switch is in its winding down phase. Remember that Nintendo focuses mostly on first party games to sell hardware rather than worrying about third party publishers. So when a new system is in the pipeline, they shift most of their resources to get launch year games ready. That leads to lesser smaller games and whatever third party publishers have, to finish off the final months of the current consoles lifespan. 

We know that Nintendo aren’t releasing any new hardware this financial year which means don’t expect another March launch. However, that does not mean there’ll be no announcement of the new console before April 2024. So that’s potentially interesting to think about. Now, we shouldn’t expect anything official this side of Christmas because Nintendo will want to get as much out of the final holiday season in terms of sales as possible. They are still wanting to shift 15 million more units this financial year. 

So, let’s talk about what we can expect from the next console? First of all, it’s definitely going to be a hybrid like the Switch. Nintendo aren’t going back to having either a dedicated home or handheld console. The Switch was such a massive success then sticking to this makes most sense. However that will certainly limit the possibility of how powerful the hardware can be. So no despite some people’s desires, it won’t be matching the PS5 or Xbox Series S/X consoles. Heck how would that even work? The power jump would probably be too much for Nintendo’s teams to handle. I mean I don’t know because I’m no expert in how games are made. I’m just guessing. Obviously. The hardware we should expect is to be something along the lines of the Steam Deck. And that puts it somewhere around the PS4 benchmark in raw power, depending on whether Nintendo drastically downclocks the chipset like they did with the Switch. 

That chipset Nintendo will end up being Nvidia for sure. There’s no way either company will not want to work together on the next console. There’s rumours going around that I won’t go into because it means little to me, as to what the exact chipset is going to be. There’s also speculation as to whether it uses some form of software tool that can upscale games to 4K when connected to the TV, but again that’s something that sounds great and is definitely possible but not necessarily likely with each title to release. The PS4 generation launched Pro consoles to try and make 4K gaming a thing. And still, even in the current generation, that’s not a guarantee. It’s why most games that launch have different settings available in order to achieve such things should the players chose to. 

There’s a lot of discussion about whether or not the next console from Nintendo will use OLED screens or go back to the LCD display instead. Considering the introduction of the OLED model raised the Switch by £50 without any other hardware upgrades, and as I assume Nintendo will want to get a console onto store shelves that is in the same price point of the current console, which by the way made a profit day one, I do feel there’s a real strong chance the system will launch with an LCD display.

So that leads us into launch lineup games. That’s probably quite important when looking at buying a new console right? More so with Nintendo as it’s the main reason you buy their hardware. Personally I can see Nintendo wanting to have a launch year that’s similar to the launch year of the Switch. Only, this time there’s no day one Zelda release. Or at least, not a new game. There could always be some form of upgrade version of Tears of the Kingdom.

A new Mario Kart makes a lot of sense. It’s Nintendo’s biggest franchise. No Pokémon isn’t actually Nintendo. It’s owned by a company that Nintendo has a stake in. Mario Kart sells consoles like nothing else. Just look at the sales of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. It’s absolutely astronomical. So definitely get the next one out there for launch year and damn well market the heck out of it. 

We know there’ll be a mainline Mario game on the next console in the launch year. That’s just expected. Unless, you know, they attempt another GameCube launch and slap something like Luigi’s Mansion on the system instead. Though, the third instalment did top ten million sales. So it won’t be as bad as last time. I really hope it’ll be a 3D game like Odyssey too because that’s a great way to showcase the hardware. Plus, the 2D games Nintendo have doing really are boring now. Save that for a future time Nintendo. Though, now I think of it, make the 3D game like Bowser’s Fury – a fully open world game. That would definitely be awesome!

Another massive system seller for Nintendo is always Pokémon. But no, that won’t happen year one. Maybe not even year two. The Pokémon Company are pretty slow at moving over to new hardware because the install base is too small. But a spin-off game in the franchise is definitely possible. We had two such games on the Switch before a mainline title came along. One of those launch games even came out in the first year. 

I’d love to see a new Splatoon game launch. Even though the third instalment is still early in it’s lifecycle meaning there’s a lot of DLC to come, it really didn’t do much to move things forward. I mean, it probably did if you are really into the franchise, but new more powerful hardware could do wonders for allowing the development team to create something different while keeping the core mechanics the same. 

There’ll be no new Animal Crossing. And there’ll be no new Super Smash Bros game. That’s it. That’s all I have to say on these games. 

Okay I’ve ran out of games springing to mind that could launch in the first year of the console’s life. But I will be sure to write more pointless opinion articles as and when something happens. So be sure to feel free not caring about any of that. 

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